Home inventory & Insurance claims

A neighbor down the block lost almost everything to a home fire. They had many issues with their insurance company, mainly:
1. They had to really fight with their insurance company to get "replacement" value for the belongings, not a reduced, depreciated value. 2. They had to fight & prove they owned assets that equaled the amount of coverage they had.
They did not have serial numbers, receipts, photos, or evidence because everything was lost in the fire. I bet about 90% of us couldn't come up with that evidence if they had to, given a home fire.
What does everyone do? Annual home inventories? Videotape belongings?
Anyone had a similar problem with their insurance company??
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Some insurance companies are very poor when it comes to claims. Avoid these companies like the plague. Check out the ratings. Inventories are a good idea, keep them in a safe deposit box, at the workplace or friend's house.
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Phisherman wrote:

If one has a camcorder, video document and keep it safe. Tony
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Dave
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http://www.jdpower.com/cc/index.html
http://www.consumerreports.org
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I'm pretty cynical, but I always thought insurance companies suggest a video inventory only to the customers who have depreciated value coverage so they can prove the stuff was old and junky. I have replacement insurance and my insurer never once suggested I have a video (so I guess I should make one). -B

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I had a program awhile back that I used once. Of course, shame on me, I have failed to keep it updated. Search google for home inventory software. It was pretty nice program - separated valuables out by room and allowed for adding rooms and areas.
--
Rich
www.construction-resource.com
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ConRes wrote:

Quicken has one called Home Inventory. It's quite often included as part of a package.
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On Tue, 25 Nov 2003 04:40:46 GMT, "ConRes"

I use a spreadsheet. Easy and simple. The file easily fits on a floppy diskette and if you save in wks format, it can be read by most other spreadsheet installations.
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Advice from my buddy who used to work for an insurance company in the loss area: Take a photo of all rooms, furnishings, valuable, etc. Make up a book. Electronic is fine. If you have a loss, print and drop off the book on the desk of the Insurance Agent and tell them you expect payment at replacement value within 48 hours. Don't buy that "it takes time to process your check" crap. The sit on checks intentionally to increase earnings.
They'll pay. There's lots of people without a book that they can screw while they pay someone like you who doesn't take their nonsense.
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I think today a better solutions would be a digital camera, with images saved to a CD. Probably 95% of the folks who can see this group have a camera and a cd burner. It would allow directory organization of the pictures and direct rather than serial access.
TS

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I recently did the digital camera survey of the house and belongings. I have the 160+ pictures on a CD and just made a copy for my daughter to take two states away. If you are ever involved in a hurricane, wild fire or other misfortune that destroys everything, the inventory in the desk drawer will not be there anymore to help you.
Charlie

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Digital photos or video of the contents once a year, burned to CD and stored at work. Major items have serial number listed as well as purchase price, model number, etc. Since I've done the work religiously (Day after Thanksgiving while everyone is out shopping...), we've naturally never had a loss. :)
Jeff
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Don't just burn a CD, e-mail the file to yourself and keep fowarding the mail before it expires. Your inventory will forever be kept floating in cyberspace!
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I opted for "replacement cost" for contents, with some small extra premium. Unless this is specified, I don't see why insurance should pay "brand new" money for depreciated contents.

How true. One never realizes, ahead of a loss, how much even small items can add up. In the recent hurricane and power outage, many lost hundreds of dollars-woth of spoiled food! Who'd think to keep proof their freezer was full of shrimp and rib roast, instead of ice cubes and Lean Cuisine packets?
I'm sure ins. co's have 'guidelinies' for average values of contents, but an inventory, pictures, & receipts would be good *personal* insurance. I'm sure the average guidlines err on the down side.

Fortunately not. Theft was 'replacement' covered; storm damage quickly assessed and reimbursed, incl. my reasonable claim for spoiled food.
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And pay close attention to what your insurer might define as "collections." If you collect anything valuable, it must have an insurance rider. In other words, 2 sets of Lionel trains would be covered, but 50 of them are a collection, and won't be covered if not declared.
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On 25 Nov 2003 21:09:55 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (HA HA Budys Here) wrote:

Good point for everyone to take note of.
I collect (American) Indian art and it costs me almost as much to insure the collection as it does for the regular homeowners.
...Jim Thompson
--
| James E.Thompson, P.E. | mens |
| Analog Innovations, Inc. | et |
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Gotta love those insurance companies. They are vague as hell when you buy the policy (like a good neighbor we'll take your money and not return it!!) - but wait until you have a claim and presto!! they come up with exclusions and buried clauses to get out of paying.
My 'fav' is Mysterious Disappearance / No sign of forcible entry. This is where they deny the home insurance claim because your camcorder that was in the trunk of your car one minute and was gone the next was not stolen - it "Mysteriously Disappeared" seeing as there was no sign of "Forcible Entry" to your car. No sense arguing that car thieves can jimmy door locks - you have to have a broken window or popped out door lock (or you claim to have seen a 6'2" guy with dark hair and blue jeans running from your car with the camcorder in hand) to have a claimable situation.
Enough ranting - I prefer a camcorder inventory where I can have one of the kids crawl behind the stereo & call out the model and serial number while I show the device working. Trouble is - my inventory must be 6 years old by now!!
(HA HA Budys Here)

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